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Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory Announce Full Cast For The London Premiere Of THE WATSONS

Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory today announce the full cast for the London première of Olivier Award-winner Laura Wade's The Watsons at the Menier. Samuel West directs original cast members Sam Alexander (Robert Watson), Sally Bankes (Nanny), Joe Bannister (Lord Osborne), Jane Booker (Lady Osborne), Elaine Claxton (Mrs Edwards), Tim Delap (Mr Howard), Sophie Duval (Mrs Robert), Louise Ford (Laura), John Wilson Goddard (Mr Watson), Grace Molony (Emma Watson), Elander Moore (Bertie), Paksie Vernon (Elizabeth Watson), Cat White (Miss Osborne) and Laurence Ubong Williams (Tom Musgrave), who are joined by Rhianna McGreevy (Margaret Watson), with Isaac Forward, Sonny Fowler and Teddy Probets sharing the role of Charles Howard for the run at the Menier. The Watsons played to critical acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. The production opens at the Menier on 30 September, with previews from 20 September, and runs until 16 November.

What happens when the writer loses the plot?

Emma Watson is nineteen and new in town. She's been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast. If not, they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife.

Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who's as awkward as he is rich.

So far so familiar. But there's a problem: Jane Austen didn't finish the story. Who will write Emma's happy ending now?

Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

Laura Wade is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her credits include Home I'm Darling (Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre, Duke of York's Theatre and UK tour - Olivier Award for Best New Comedy), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Posh (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer (Sydney Opera House and Australian Tour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Royal Festival Hall and UK tour), Other Hands (Soho Theatre), Colder Than Here (Soho Theatre and MCC Theatre New York), Breathing Corpses (Royal Court Theatre), Young Emma (Finborough Theatre), and 16 Winters (Bristol Old Vic Basement). Film credits include The Riot Club and Britain Isn't Eating.

The cast is Sam Alexander (One Man, Two Guvnors - National Theatre, and Theatre Royal Haymarket, Love's Labour Lost - Chichester, RSC and West End), Sally Bankes (East is East - Trafalgar Studios, and for television, World Without End and Titanic), Joe Bannister (Ramona Tells Jim - Bush Theatre, Wild Honey - Hampstead Theatre and Hobson's Choice - Vaudeville Theatre), Jane Booker (The Beaux Stratagem - National Theatre, and for film Finding Neverland), Elaine Claxton (Carthage - Finborough Theatre, and for television, Delicious), Tim Delap (Jane Eyre - National Theatre and UK tour, Losing Venice and French Without Tears - Orange Tree Theatre), Sophie Duval (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - National Theatre and Apollo Theatre, for television, Doctor Who and Chewing Gum, and for film, Topsy-Turvey), Louise Ford (Quartermaine's Terms - Wyndham's Theatre, and for television, The Windsors and Crashing), John Wilson Goddard (The Question - BAC, Oedipus Needs Help - Vital Experience), Rhianna McGreevy (Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare Globe tour), Grace Molony (The Country Girls at Chichester - winner of The Stage Debut Award, and Lady Windemere's Fan - Vaudeville Theatre, and for film, Artemis Fowl and Mary Queen of Scots), Elander Moore (The Rink - Southwark Playhouse and The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia? - Theatre Royal Haymarket), Paksie Vernon (Network and Angels in America - National Theatre), Cat White (Our Town - North Wall, Shudder - Soho Theatre), and Laurence Ubong Williams (The Deep Blue Sea - Chichester, Jumpy - Theatr Clwyd), with Isaac Forward, Sonny Fowler and Teddy Probets.

Samuel West directs. His directorial work includes After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Close The Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage), Waste (Almeida Theatre) and Dealer's Choice (Menier Chocolate Factory/Trafalgar Studios). As Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres he directed the first revival of The Romans in Britain by Howard Brenton, and As You Like It for the RSC's Complete Works Festival. He also directed Money by Edward Bulwer-Lytton for BBC Radio. As an actor, work includes the title roles in Hamlet and Richard II for the RSC, Jeffrey Skilling in Lucy Prebble's Enron (Chichester/Royal Court/Noel Coward theatres), three series of Mr Selfridge, the film Howards End, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Suffragette and On Chesil Beach.

This production is based on the Chichester Festival Theatre production which had its world première at the Minerva Theatre on 3 November 2018.

This production is generously supported by Sonia Friedman Productions and Playing Field.

Website: (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)


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